In this module, you will be introduced to self-talk as a strategy to improve your skill development and manage your emotions and ability to focus on performance situations. You will identify both helpful and unhelpful thinking patterns and how these may impact you physically, emotionally and behaviourally. This section will also discuss the different ways self-talk can be used to improve your performance. Further, you will be encouraged to develop realistic and helpful thinking patterns related to your experiences prior to, during and after practice or performance situations.
We all experience conversations in our heads. This is called internal dialogue and it means that our cognitive thoughts and internal voice can influence how we feel and behave in both practice and competition.
This internal dialogue can be both helpful and unhelpful. For example, in a performance situation, positive cognitions can help us push that ‘little bit extra’ to achieve our best, whereas unhelpful cognitions can contribute to performance anxiety that can negatively impact performance. The skills covered in this section are relatively complex and require practice and support from your parents and coaches/teachers to implement.
Power Up! has adopted the use of cognitive strategies for the specific purpose of performance enhancement, teaching you to manage unhelpful thinking patterns to develop and reinforce positive thinking patterns.
By identifying your own self-talk patterns, you will be able to gain a better understanding of how your thoughts can affect how you feel and behave. The exercises may also help you to utilise self-talk in a variety of situations and contexts, such as in relation to other events and throughout times when you may be experiencing stress, anxiety or when more attention and focus is required, for example.